To help you stay in touch, Fine Wine Club has a monthly newsletter that lists all new articles, Wines of the Month and interesting events. To join, simply send me an email, the service is free.
This newsletter brings a mixed bag of offerings. There is also a movie give-away, a few events and a couple of interesting article that I have come across. There is also the plethora of wines that I have tasted and my wines of the month.
I hope you enjoy the results!
Thanks to the good folks at Nixco, I have double passes to give away to a movie called First Position. Set for a national launch next week, the movie is a ballet documentary. There are 15 double passes to be given away (3 double passes in WA, SA, Vic, NSW and Qld). Check out the trailer here and send me an email if you would like to go. The first three replies from each state will get a double pass.
You might be wondering what the movie has to do with wine. The answer is not much, but it looks interesting and the price is right 🙂
Lamont’s in Cottesloe are holding one of the best value event I can remember. Dinner and Leeuwin Estate vertical tasting (Chardonnay and Cabernet) for $125. Details at the bottom of the newsletter.
United Cellars is hosting a 2005 Bordeaux Masterclass in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth. Details at the bottom of the newsletter.
Our friends at East End Cellars in Adelaide are sponsoring another East End Wine-Down. Details at the bottom of the newsletter.
Wines of the Month
The best of this month’s blind tastings.
Patritti – Grenache – Section 181 – 2011 (18+). Fragrant, perfumed nose that is the trademark of grenache. Cherry, plum and red berries caress the nose, with subtle spice and cedary oak adding depth and complexity. The palate is flooded with masses of ripe fruit, is fresh, and is totally delicious. The tannins and oak add depth to the fruit rather than dominate it. After a couple of days in the bottle, this was even better, with superb, old bush vine fruit on display. A superb wine. ($28 ex-winery and sealed with a cork). (30 March).
Angove – Grenache – Alternatus – 2012 (17.5+). Fabulous youthful fruit, and very new-world compared to the Chalk Board. On the nose, this has dense, ripe fruit over sweet oak characters. This is quite a big wine that has bucket loads of juicy ripe fruit over supple oak and fine tannins. Good length, with the flavour profile evolving to blackberry and spice. A smart wine that needs time to really come together. Best in 3- 5 years, but an excellent drink now with air. (30 March).
Leeuwin Estate – Shiraz – Art Series – 2010 (18). Much cooler style here, with peppery, spicy fruit and refined, fine tannins. The fruit quality is excellent, as is the winemaking. The oak use is particularly note-worthy as it complements the style perfectly without imparting a flavour profile of its own. A refined wine that will be at its best after 2020. (30 March).
Chalk Board – Shiraz – 2010 (17.5). Quite a serious wine that is tight, taut and closed. The fruit is fine and of good quality, while the winemaking matches the weight of the fruit very well. Supple, fine grained oak complements the fruit. Opens to show lovely red fruits and a touch of cinnamon spice. The chewy and dense finish suggests some time in bottle will be of benefit. Value from Vintage Cellars. (30 March).
Vilmart & Cie – Grand Cellier D’Or – Champagne – 2007 (18.5+). My tasting notes for this wine were brief but expressive. Fresh, vibrant, taut, long, linear, balanced, fine and refreshing. Superb length and great presence. This is a spectacular wine that is great drinking now, but will also drink superbly for 5 years or more. Try Lamont’s in Cottesloe. (28 March).
Lanson – Gold Label – Champagne – 2002 (18 – 18.5). Opens with delicate, floral fruit on the nose. Again, the acidity is a feature. Great line and length with lovely mouth-feel, balance and texture. There are stone fruit characters and subtle spice. Complete wine of great charm. It is amazing that a wine of this quality from such a good year is still available on the market for under $55. I already have some in my cellar. (Available from Dan Murphy). (28 March).
Jean Richecourt – Champagne – NV (18). Wow, the group really liked this wine! A very delicate nose that shows hints of toast and brioche. The palate is fresh and taut, with tight minerality and great penetration. The dosage has been perfectly matched to the youthful fruit and acid. I like the persistence and the way the wine cuts through the palate to show hints of stonefruit and brioche. Stunning value at under $35 from Vintage Cellars! (28 March).
Millbrook – Tempranillo – 2012 (17.5). I like the smell of this as it has ripe fruit, balanced by savoury highlights. There is a touch of fruit cake, currants and cedar on the palate. The tannins are quite fine, yet assertive, giving the finish a drying edge. The texture is good and the fruit builds with air. A year or two will see this flesh out and build. (30 March).
Hamelin Bay Wines – Merlot – Rosé – 2012 (17). The panel really enjoyed this wine as it was considered to be a good example of the style. Leads off with a neutral nose that, whilst dry, has a floral lift. Dry and savoury on the palate, this has refreshing acidity balanced with a hint of savoury fruit. (30 March).
Domaine A – Cabernet Sauvignon – Stoney Vineyard – 2007 (17.5). The extra time in bottle makes its presence felt in this wine. Savoury and spicy, with forest floor highlights, this is a long and textured wine of real presence. Whilst a long way removed from the wines of Margaret River and Coonawarra in style, this is a textural feast and represents excellent value. (15 March).
Domaine A – Cabernet Sauvignon – Domaine A – 2008 (18.5). Densely structured fruit leads the attack on the nose. This is a powerful wine, though it is not “big”. The power comes from concentrated fruit that whilst ripe, is at the cooler end of the flavour spectrum. There are hints of black fruits, crushed ant, a touch of menthol and supple, cedary spice. The length is outstanding, though this needs years to reach its peak. The wine spends three years in new French oak and is held back for another two years in bottle. A superb wine and a worthy alternative to the wines of Moss Wood, Cape Mentelle etc. (15 March).
De Bortoli – Colombard/Chardonnay – Sacred Hill – 2012 (16,3). A nice wine that is clean and fresh, with grapefruit and lemony flavours. There is enough acidity to keep the palate lively and refreshing and there is good length and balance. I would happily drink a glass of this on a warm afternoon. Stunning value at less than $7.00 on special. (20 February)
Xanadu – Chardonnay – Next of Kin – 2011 (17). A real step up in terms of fruit quality, weight and texture. The winemaking here is also more expansive and generous, with some lees and barrel influence adding depth and texture to the fruit. The long and fleshy finish displays excellent oak handling. (20 February)
Howard Park – Cabernet Sauvignon – Abercrombie – 2010 (18 – 18.5+). Wow, the fragrant violet and red currant fruit on the nose is hauntingly beautiful. Opens to show hints of vanillin oak and cedar that complements the fruit well. The palate is dense, tight, long and fine. Whilst the tannins are palpable, they are remarkably fine and silky. The fruit quality here is superb and the winemaking first grade. Whilst refined and elegant now, this needs 10+ years to see it peak. Superb wine! (20 February)
Woody Nook – Cabernet Sauvignon – Gallagher’s Choice – 2010 (18+). Cedar and spice to the fore, but develops superb varietal fruit with air. Quite closed and tight, this needs to open up to show its best. Initially presents as leaner style and will certainly be a good accompaniment to food over the next 5 years This will however blossom in 10 years. Excellent wine. (20 February)
Devil’s Lair – Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz/Merlot – Fifth Leg – 2011 (17). This wine has concentrated ripe fruit on both the nose and palate. There is an almost mocha like flavour (from the shiraz) running over the juicy/succulent fruit. Cassis is the dominant flavour and while not obviously Margaret River in style, this is dense, long and quite opulent. (20 February)
De Bortoli – Semillon – Vat 5 – Botrytis – 2008 (17). Sweet marmalade fruit on the nose. The palate has more of the same, with decent acidity to balance the long finish. This wine is viscous, dense and totally delicious. Whilst I do not quite see how this beat its big brother, the Noble One, for a trophy recently, it is a brilliant wine at the price. (20 February)
Shiraz and Grenache
New Release Tasting
Reviewed: 30 March 2013
The highlight of this tasting was not the smart shiraz on display, but a pair of wines made from straight grenache. The Angove was fresh, succulent and juicy, whilst the Patritti was a powerhouse of old vines fruit. Different in style, but both most worthy of your attention.
Wine and Food Society of Western Australia
Reviewed 28th March 2013.
I need to start this article with a confession: I love Champagne. The real stuff from France, rather than just any wine with bubbles. So I was very pleased to arrange a tasting of predominantly non-vintage Champagne for the Wine and Food Society of Western Australia.
New Release – Mixed
Reviewed: 30 March 2013
Domaine A Tasting
Reviewed: 15 March 2013
Peter and Ruth Althaus started Domaine A in 1989 when they purchased a small vineyard on a 20 hectare property in Tasmania’s Coal Valley. Over the subsequent twenty years, Domaine A has quietly become one of Australia most highly regarded wineries.
New Release – Mixed
Reviewed: 20 February 2013
Whilst the Xanadu Next of Kin was, by far, the best wine of the chardonnay bracket, The De Bortoli colombard/chardonnay was the big surprise. Good fruit, excellent winemaking and a ridiculously low price. An interesting and worthwhile alternative to cheap sauvignon blanc.
With the cabernets, the Howard Park was in a league of its own (thought the Woody Nook was knocking on the door). The value wine though was the Devils Lair – Fifth Leg.
To finish off, the Vat 5 by Deen De Bortoli reaffirmed its claim as a stunning bargain when it comes to dessert wine.
A Lamont’s Leeuwin Estate Art Series 5 course Dinner…with some of the greatest ever, yet to be released, cellar door only & museum stocks.
A dinner to celebrate the 2010 Art Series Chardonnay release – a wine that Leeuwin believe is the best Art Series Chardonnay ever…and..we reckon they are probably right! (Time will tell.)
Wednesday 17th of April
At an exclusive recent pre-release tasting of 28 Leeuwin Estate wines, winemaker Paul Atwood was effusive about the 2010 vintage, exclaiming on more than one occasion on the widespread quality across all varietals from the 2010 vintage. These comments were especially prevalent in regards to the Cabernet and Chardonnay wines.
MENU AND WINELIST
Canapes on arrival
Beetroot, horseradish cream, shaved chorizo
2011 ART SERIES SAUVIGNON BLANC SEMILLON
Our highest pointed Australian SBS to date at 18.7 pts. Your only chance to try this great SBS in Perth as this wine is exclusive to the Leeuwin Estate cellar door in Margaret River. For this evening only, Lamonts will have order forms for the purchase of this wine for delivery direct from the winery.
Seared scallops, green pea & black pudding
2002, 2005, 2009 & PRE RELEASE 2010 ART SERIES CHARDONNAYS
The 2002 (19 pts), the 2005 (19 pts), and the 2009 (18.8 pts) are amongst Leeuwin’s greatest Chardonnays ever. It is possible that the youthful 2010 potentially is the equal of or better than these.
Butterflied quail, wilted bitter greens, jus
2005, 2007, 2008 & PRE-RELEASE 2009 ART SERIES CABERNET SAUVIGNONS
These three Cabernets are clearly Leeuwin’s greatest released so far. While of differing styles, we have given the wines similar points and these three vintages confirm Leeuwin’s position amongst Margaret River’s greatest Cabernet producers.
Angus ‘a la minute’, shitake & tamari
2010 ART SERIES SHIRAZ
Quite simply, Leeuwin’s finest ever and an eminently drinkable and marvelous value example of a Margaret River Shiraz from a great vintage.
Lamont’s Wine Store
12 Station Street Cottesloe WA 6011 T: 08 9385 0666 F: 08 9385 0622 E: email@example.com
East End Wine Down
We are once again excited to be involved with the East End Wine Down; those of you who attended last year will know about this great event and this year looks to be bigger and better as we close down Vardon Avenue. We would love for you to join us for what should be a great day, details as per below…
Get your wine on at our pop up urban laneway taste fest in Adelaide’s East End this Sunday. Wine by rockstar winemakers, dj spinning some tunes, cool peeps and great eats.
Radpublic + Kooki present rockstar wine from Alpha Box & Dice, Arete, Bellwether, BK Wines, Cape Jaffa, Chapel Hill, d’Arenberg, Ducks in a Row, Fox Gordon, Golding, Kanta, La Linea, Matchbox Wine Co., Ochota Barrels, Oliver’s Taranga, Patritti, Running With Bulls, Some Young Punks, Three Dark Horses + Cider + Beer + DJ beats + Street eats by La Cantina Co. + the Little Big Cheese Co.
Supported by Splash Adelaide.
WHAT Laneway wine taste fest
WHEN SUN 7 APRIL (12-5pm)
WHERE Vardon Avenue Adelaide SA 5000 (adjacent East End Cellars)
Our friends receive $10 discount on #EASTENDWINEDOWN tix.
50 tickets up for grabs with promo code ‘EWDFRIENDS’ first in best dressed!
UNITED CELLARS Grand Bordeaux Masterclasses – 2005 Showcase
Revered by connoisseurs, collectors and critics alike, Bordeaux is one of the greatest wine regions of the world. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to be guided through a 2 hour Masterclass by experienced wine buyers and sample an exceptional selection of fine, 2005 vintage wines from some of Bordeaux’s most prestigious Chateaux.
2005 has been heralded as one of the best vintages of the past five decades, with superior quality produced across the appellations. Compare wine styles from the distinctive left and right banks through to the lesser known but wonderfully rewarding sub-classifications of Moulis and Haut Medoc.
Begin your journey with champagne & canapés on arrival, before tasting wines including …
Ch. Smith Haut Lafite Blanc Pessac Léognan
Chateau Potensac Médoc
Chateau Cantemerle Haut Médoc
Chateau Lannesan Haut Médoc
Chateau Chasse Spleen Moulis
Chateau du Tertre Margaux
Chateau Lascombes Margaux
Chateau Talbot Saint Julien
Chateau Gruaud Larose Saint Julien
Chateau Phelan Segur Saint Estephe
Chateau Calon Segur Saint Estephe
Chateau Pontet Canet Pauillac
Chateau d’Armailhac Pauillac
Vieux Chateau Certan Pomerol
Chateau Beauregard Pomerol
Chateau Clos Fourtet Saint Emilion
Chateau Grand Mayne Saint Emilion
Chateau d’ Yquem Sauternes
The Masterclass will also be accompanied by a fine selection of cheeses.
When & Where:
16th May Circa The Prince, Melbourne
23rd May The Brisbane Polo Club, Brisbane
28th May Trustee Bar & Bistro, Perth
Bookings Essential: $250 pp
United Cellars P: 1300 226 835 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
A “taste-at-your-own-pace” tasting will also be held in Sydney on 9th May (6-8.30pm, $195 per person). See details at www.unitedcellars.com.au